When I was approached about being a Giving Tuesday Ambassador in Spring of 2013, I jumped at the opportunity. I love making a difference and helping people move from point great to point awesome. I remembered the first Giving Tuesday in 2012, and how involved Bill and Melinda Gates were, and I started thinking, “this clearly is something that can become a vehicle to connect every corner of the planet.”
And our planet is big and very diverse. I not only talk about diversity in speeches and presentations and post about it in social media, but also I practice it in my daily interactions with people I meet. So it wasn’t hard for me to connect that with the aims of the UN Foundation, in it’s digital outreach to individuals, businesses, foundations, and charities around the world. Everyday I woke up determined and encouraged and ready to try something new.
For an effective online promotion of Giving Tuesday on my Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts, I used some of the framework of Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske’s Trading Up, one of my favorite books of the last decade. I took the “Conceptualize the Idea — Create a Prototype — Launch and Consistently Refine” approach they wrote about, and put it to good use on a daily basis.
As you decide what approach you will have for 2014, here are three things to consider when you become a Giving Tuesday Ambassador:
- Think Like There Is No Box
Be unlimited in your thinking. For example, it would have been easy for me to simply retweet and share Giving Tuesday links only on Tuesday. But when you’re helping to build a brand or a movement, you take full advantage of every day of the week. It is not uncommon to see the #GivingTuesday hashtag on my Twitter feed daily. I include it with quotes about giving, and put it on links about social good activities. So don’t just think out of the box, so to speak; think like there isn’t one in the first place.
- Support Other Ambassadors
One of the biggest trends in the social space over the past few years is “collaboration.” The partnership between GivingTuesday.org and the UN Foundation is a great example of that. So when retweeting Giving Tuesday links, I didn’t just retweet the people I recognized and personally liked. That’s easy. I decided to share as many links throughout the week from people I didn’t know, folks who were clearly trying to elevate the field of philanthropy. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. When we work together, we shine together.
- Have Fun
When I connected with that entrepreneur in Ireland, that student in South Africa, that educator in Mongolia, and that traveler in Peru, they all told me about what a joy it was to give back. And they are just four out of many people who either shared their story, or simply asked me what Giving Tuesday was, and how to get involved. Global connectivity and cultural exchange is, in my view, fun. Big fun. I enjoy connecting. And when we enjoy what we do, we do it better. So by all means, have fun.
After the record-breaking day of December 3rd, it is clear that Giving Tuesday is here to stay. It will likely be a permanent part of the social landscape, and, be a platform upon which inspired philanthropy and service can thrive like never before. I am excited about the possibilities and I am looking forward to helping it expand further.
Looking to be a Giving Tuesday Ambassador? Click here to get started.